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Updated: 2 hours 21 min ago

Quiet start to the week across the metals

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:15

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange are for the most part weaker this morning, Monday December 11, with prices down by an average of 0.3% – led by a 0.8% drop in nickel prices while copper prices are down by 0.4% at $6,554 per tonne. Volume has been average with 8,070 lots traded as of 06.47 am London time.

This was after a generally firmer day on Friday, when copper, zinc and lead closed up between 0.3% and 0.5%, aluminium and tin prices were little changed and nickel prices fell by 0.5%.

Precious metals are firmer this morning with gold prices up by 0.1% at $1,249.90 per oz, silver prices are stronger by 0.2%, palladium prices are up by 0.4%, while platinum prices have rallied 0.9%.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange today, the base metals prices are mixed with lead, nickel and tin off between 0.5% and 0.6%, while zinc prices are up by 1.1%, aluminium prices are little changed and copper prices are up by 0.2% at 51,640 yuan ($7,804) per tonne.

Spot copper prices in Changjiang are up by 0.4% at 51,360-51,720 yuan per tonne and the LME vs Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio has firmed to 7.88, from 7.83 on Friday.

In other metals in China, iron ore prices are off by 0.1% at 497.50 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. On the SHFE, steel rebar prices are up by 2.1%, while gold prices are off by 0.1% and silver prices are up by 0.5%.

In international markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are up by 0.02% at $63.33 per barrel, the yield on US 10-year treasuries are little changed at 2.38% and the German 10-year bund yield is weaker at 0.30%.

Equities in Asia this morning are firmer with gains seen across the board: Nikkei (0.56%), the Hang Seng (0.95%), the CSI 300 (1.531%), the ASX200 (0.07%) and the Kospi (0.30%). This follows strength in western markets on Friday where in the United States the Dow Jones closed up by 0.49% at 24,329.16 and in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up by 0.51% at 3,591.45.

The dollar index at 93.76 is consolidating, the latest rebound ran up to 94.09 on Friday, but the index has since dipped. The halt in the dollar’s rise has led to some firmness in the euro at 1.1786, sterling at 1.3423 and the Australian dollar at 0.7532, while the yen remains weak at 113.43.

The yuan remains flat at 6.6144, while the other emerging currencies we follow are consolidating.

Today’s economic agenda is light: Japan’s preliminary machine tool orders were up by 46.9% year on year and later there is data on Italian retail sales and US job openings. Data out over the weekend showed China’s consumer price index climbed by 1.7% in November, after a 1.9% rise in October and producer prices climbed by 5.8%, which was as expected, but down from a 6.9% rise in October.

The base metals prices remain vulnerable to further falls; prices are consolidating for now, but the rebounds are not seeing much follow-through buying. So for now the path of least resistance seems to be to the downside.

The precious metals sold off heavily last week, we think traders have been anticipating a likely interest rate rise at the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday. In addition, with equities booming and geopolitical tensions low, the opportunity cost of holding gold has been high, which has not helped. The current climate is not that bullish for gold so prices may remain under pressure for a while.

Metal Bulletin publishes live futures reports throughout the day, covering major metals exchanges news and prices.

The post Quiet start to the week across the metals appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

SHFE copper price buoyed by China production cuts, positive data

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 04:30

Copper prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged higher during Asian morning trading on Monday December 11, buoyed by the release of positive economic data from China as well as news of production cuts at the country’s second-largest copper smelter.

The most-traded February copper contract on the SHFE stood at 51,770 yuan ($7,820) per tonne as of 10:23am Shanghai time, up by 70 yuan from the previous session’s close.

The news that Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, China’s second-largest copper producer, will close part of its operations to ease pollution over the winter has renewed market concerns regarding potential supply tightness.

“China’s second largest copper smelter began halting capacity last week at its main production hub in Tongling after the local government ordered curbs as part of national plans to ease pollution,” John Meyer at SP Angel said last week.

“Halted 20-30% of smelting capacity from annual total of 800,000 metric tonnes – no timetable for how long will last,” he added.

Further support for red metal prices came from the release of positive economic data out of China on Friday.

China’s trade surplus expanded to 263.6 billion yuan in November, which bested expectations for a surplus of 231 billion yuan. Yuan-denominated exports were up by 10.3% year on year compared with an expected 2% increase, while imports rose 15.6% in the same comparison, against a projected 12.5% gain.

“Copper imports were the standout, surging 42.4% from October to 470,000 tonnes in November (up by 23.7% year on year). The rise backs up our view that a tightening copper-concentrate market is pushing many buyers into the refined metal market to satisfy its copper units,” ANZ Research said on Monday.

Yet gains were muted amid rising concerns over a government-led deleveraging push in China which could tighten liquidity towards the year-end.

“The euphoria over the trade data may have been crimped by reports that Chinese authorities plan to effectively control leverage next year to prevent major risks,” ANZ Research added.

Meanwhile, softer Chinese inflation data released late on Friday has also exerted some downward pressure on the base metals complex this morning.

Chinese data released overnight on Friday showed the country’s consumer inflation slowed more than expected in November with a gain of 1.7%, compared with an expected increase of 1.8%. Meanwhile, Chinese producer prices rose 5.8% from a year earlier, compared with the previous month’s rise of 6.9%, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

SHFE zinc, aluminium prices higher; rest weaker

  • The SHFE February zinc contract price was the standout performer this morning, rising 155 yuan or 0.6% to 24,860 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE February aluminium contract price edged 5 yuan higher to 14,325 yuan.
  • The SHFE January lead dropped by 80 yuan to 18,470 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE May nickel fell by 290 yuan to 88,830 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin price slid 370 yuan to 138,860 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • The dollar index was flat at 93.86 as of 10.50am Shanghai time – it had reached as high as 94.09 on Friday, which was its highest since November 22.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down by 0.42% to $63.05 per barrel, and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price decreased by 0.42% to $57.03.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was up by 0.41% to 3,303.40.
  • In US data on Friday, positive employment growth hit 86 straight months with non-farm employment change results showing 228,000 Americans joined the labor market, above the forecast of 198,000. But the unemployment rate stayed flat at 4.1% and average hourly earnings disappointed with a 0.2% gain.
  • The economic agenda is very light today with only Jolts job openings from the US of note.

The post SHFE copper price buoyed by China production cuts, positive data appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

Glencore unit buys stake in American Zinc Recycling

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 17:04

A subsidiary of Glencore Plc has purchased a 10% stake in US electric-arc furnace dust recycler American Zinc Recycling Corp (AZR), both companies confirmed to American Metal Market.

The companies declined to provide the financial details of the deal, which closed on Thursday December 7.

Under the terms of the agreement, Glencore will provide engineering and project management services, expediting the restart of AZR’s Mooresboro, North Carolina, zinc production facility, which was idled in January 2016.

Ali Alavi, AZR’s senior vice president of corporate and environmental affairs, noted that Glencore operates a similar facility in Italy and should be able to apply its knowledge to help restart Mooresboro. “We think it’s a really good fit,” he said.

AZR is targeting a mid-2019 restart of the Mooresboro facility, Alavi said, although “we believe we can get to production sooner than that and that’s what we’ll be striving for.” The facility has been under construction since AZR emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2016.

AZR and Glencore’s subsidiary have also entered into a 10-year offtake agreement for the full metal output of Mooresboro at prevailing market rates, to commence once the plant is restarted. Glencore is losing access to Nyrstar’s commodity-grade zinc in the United States when its seven-year marketing deal with Nyrstar ends in 2018.

Pittsburgh-based AZR estimated in 2014 that at full capacity the Mooresboro plant would produce 155,000 tons of special-high-grade zinc and continuous-galvanizing-grade zinc annually.

The London Metal Exchange’s three-month zinc contract closed at $3,083 per tonne ($1.40 perlb) on December 8, down 5.1% from $3,247 per tonne on November 24.

“Glencore’s zinc process engineering and general project execution expertise will enhance our own ongoing activities aimed at rapidly restarting production at Mooresboro,” AZR chief executive officer Rodrigo Daud said in a statement.

“Glencore is pleased to be deploying its technical and commercial expertise to work in this unique partnership with AZR, both at Mooresboro and across the AZR group,” Chris Eskdale, Glencore Zinc’s head of assets, said in a statement.

The post Glencore unit buys stake in American Zinc Recycling appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

First trades on CME copper premium contract point to Q1 2018 level at $65/t

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:46

Initial trades on the CME’s copper cif Shanghai futures contract have pegged physical premiums for grade A cathodes at $65 per tonne for the first quarter of 2018.

Trades today came in the form of 1 lot placed on January, February and March contracts, all at $65 per tonne, meaning tonnage traded on the contract so far totals 75 lots.

The contract is settled against the monthly average of the Metal Bulletin daily copper premiums assessment, basis cif Shanghai.

The latest monthly average was $71.35 per tonne for November.

Those wishing to find out more about the contract and how Metal Bulletin assesses copper premiums in Shanghai can view a webinar featuring deputy Asia editor Kiki Kang and the CME’s Shan Islam here.

The post First trades on CME copper premium contract point to Q1 2018 level at $65/t appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

Metals prices remain under pressure

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:01

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange are for the most part weaker again this morning, Thursday December 7, although tin prices are bucking the trend with a 0.2% gain. The rest are down by an average of 0.5%, ranged between copper that is off by 0.1% at $6,541 per tonne and lead prices that are down by 1.2%.

Volume has been above average with 10,212 lots traded as of 07.05am London time.

Precious metals are generally weaker this morning with gold and silver prices off by 0.5%, with gold prices at $1,257.73 per oz, while platinum prices were off by 0.2% and palladium prices are up by 0.1%. This follows a mixed performance on Wednesday that saw losses in platinum (-1.4%), silver (-0.9%), gold (-0.2%), while palladium rebounded 0.9%.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange today, the base metals prices are divergent with aluminium leading on the downside with a 1.7% fall, nickel prices are off by 0.9%, copper and zinc prices are both down by 0.5%, while lead and tin prices are up by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. February copper prices are at 51,340 yuan ($7,759) per tonne, while spot copper prices in Changjiang are down by 0.1% at 51,300-51,500 yuan per tonne and the LME vs Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio has strengthened to 7.85, from 7.81 on Wednesday.

The steel market is also weaker with iron ore prices in China falling by 7.5% to 494.50 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. On the SHFE, steel rebar prices are off by 2.1%, with gold and silver prices down by 0.7% and 1.4% respectively.

In international markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are up by 0.7% at $61.23 per barrel, this after the weakness seen on Wednesday. The yield on US 10-year treasuries is unchanged at 2.34% and the German 10-year bund yield has firmed to 0.31%.

Equities in Asia this morning are mixed: some of the markets have rebounded after Wednesday’s weakness, with gains seen in the Nikkei (1.45%), the Hang Seng (0.33%) and the ASX200 (0.54%), while the Kospi (-0.50%) and the CSI 300 (-1.11%) are weaker. This follows weakness in western markets on Wednesday where in the United States the Dow Jones closed down by 0.16% at 24,140.91 and in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 closed down by 0.25% at 3,561.57.

The dollar index, at 93.65 is getting some lift with the index back above the 20 day moving average. The euro at 1.1793 is weaker, as are sterling at 1.3373, the yen at 112.58 and the Australian dollar at 0.7535.

The yuan remains flat at 6.6148, while the other emerging currencies we follow are giving back some of their recent gains.

Today’s economic agenda shows Japan’s leading indicators were slightly weaker at 106.1%, down from 106.4% and German industrial production has fallen by 1.4% after a 0.9% fall previously. Data out later includes the French trade balance, UK house prices, Italian unemployment rates, EU revised gross domestic product (GDP), with US data including challenger job cuts, initial jobless claims, natural gas storage and consumer credit. In addition, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is speaking.

Most of the base metals prices are correcting, led by aluminium and nickel, while tin and lead prices are holding up and copper and zinc prices have broken lower – but for now are seeing some support. The market therefore remains vulnerable. We do see this more as a technical/profit-taking correction rather than one that is warning of a meaningful economic slowdown. The market, however, seems concerned about slower growth in China and while that view is held then prices may well fall further, but we would view this as leading to a better buying opportunity.

The precious metals are also suffering with gold breaking below support at $1,260 per oz to follow silver and platinum prices lower, but for now palladium prices are holding up relatively well. With most of the metals prices in retreat, with the dollar firmer and geopolitical tensions low, the path of least resistance remains to the downside. That said, with the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week and with the market expecting an interest rate rise, the weakness we are seeing in gold may well be the market anticipating the rate rise.

The post Metals prices remain under pressure appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

SHFE copper price edges higher on dip buying but remains vulnerable

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 04:55

Copper prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged higher during Asian morning trading on Thursday December 7, with the red metal’s weakness of late seeming to attract some dip buying.

The most-traded February copper contract on the SHFE stood at 51,480 yuan ($7,784) per tonne as of 10.15am Shanghai time, up by 30 yuan from the previous session’s close, with around 93,000 lots having changed hands.

SHFE copper prices have recovered slightly from the steep falls experienced on Wednesday, supported by the emergence of dip buying. The SHFE February copper contract price fell as low as 51,060 yuan per tonne yesterday, its lowest since September 29.

“Copper fundamentals are still largely positive. In addition, the falls in prices will likely trigger demand [from bargain hunters]. In general, there is limited space for copper prices to fall further,” China’s Guotai Junan Futures said on Thursday.

Yet, lingering concerns regarding China’s economic out and persistent profit-taking in the run-up to the end of the year may continue to weigh on red metal prices.

“Investors are continuing to fret about the outlook for demand in China, while the fast approaching year-end may have also induced some profit-taking in the market,” ANZ Research said.

Meanwhile, rising stocks and reduced liquidity in preparation for the end of year should also pressure red metal prices.

“Analysts note that further to rising copper inventories, concerns are growing over liquidity tightness in China towards the year-end during a government-led deleveraging push,” John Meyer of SP Angel said.

Copper stocks London Metal Exchange rose a net 1,125 tonnes to 193,675 tonnes on Wednesday, following a sharp rise of more than 10,000 tonnes on Tuesday.

Zinc supported by low stock levels 

  • The SHFE February zinc contract price moved up 165 yuan to 24,670 yuan per tonne.
  • Declining LME stocks are providing support to prices.
  • LME zinc stocks fell a net 2,400 tonnes to 204,850 tonnes on Wednesday.
  • “The supply tightness in zinc concentrates has persisted. Meanwhile, more zinc refineries will have planned maintenance during December-January period. Therefore, chances are that domestic zinc inventories will remain at low levels in the near term,” Citic Futures Research said.

All other base metals lower, bar lead 

  • The SHFE May nickel contract price dropped by 280 yuan to 87,720 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE February aluminium contract price fell by 175 yuan to 14,220 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price rose 40 yuan to 18,760 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price dip 570 yuan to 140,180 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up by 0.06% to 93.58 as of 10.16am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose by 0.28% to $61.36 per barrel while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price inched up by 0.04% at $56.08.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.51% to 3,277.03.
  • In data on Wednesday, the US ADP employment report showed 190,000 Americans joined the labor market in November. The revised non-farm productivity and unit labor costs during the third quarter grew 3% and fell 0.2% respectively.
  • The economic agenda is fairly light today with the UK’s Halifax house price index and unemployment claims from the United States of note.
  • In addition, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is speaking.

The post SHFE copper price edges higher on dip buying but remains vulnerable appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

The biggest warehouse frauds of recent times

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:00

Metal Bulletin reviews key dates and events related to the 2014 Qingdao scandal and the nickel warehouse receipts forgery that was uncovered this year.

The Qingdao scandal in China, which involved the fraudulent use of warehouse receipts multiple times to raise finance, led to significant changes to the way the metals industry operates.

Credit became tighter and several upgrades to security features on warehouse receipts were made.

Even so, another warehouse fraud in Asia has since shaken the metals industry this time involving Access World nickel warehouse receipts.

Metal Bulletin presents a detailed timeline of both events below.

QINGDAO SCANDAL
June 2014
Qingdao blocks the shipment of some material while investigating the allegedly fraudulent use of warehouse receipts multiple times to raise finance.

The investigation into allegations of missing material and double- or triple-pledged metal in Qingdao focuses on bonded warehouses in the Dagang port terminal rather than other non-bonded and bonded areas.

Several western banks, including Standard Bank, Standard Chartered and Citi, say they are monitoring or reviewing their financing activities in Qingdao.

July 2014
Chinese state-owned company Citic Resources Holdings files a claim in the Qingdao Maritime Court against the operator of a bonded warehouse at Qingdao port in an attempt to recover its alumina and copper.

In Shanghai, copper premiums and prices firm in response to a tightness that was partly the result of the postponement or rerouting of shipments.

August 2014
Glencore’s warehousing division sues Qingdao Port over undelivered aluminium. The port is also named as a party in a lawsuit brought by ABN Amro.

Shanxi Coal Import & Export, a Shanxi Coal International unit, files a claim against a subsidiary of Citic Resources Holdings for $89.75 million plus interest for undelivered aluminium ingots.

September 2014
Qingdao Port International says about 400,000 tonnes of material, including 300,000 tonnes of alumina, 20,000 tonnes of copper and 80,000 tonnes of aluminium ingots, is involved in the fraud.

December 2014
The arguments from banking firm Citi and trading company Mercuria over who should face the $270 million exposure from financing deals linked to metal held at Qingdao have now been heard.

March 2015
Impala Warehousing & Logistics (Shanghai) Co Ltd and Wanxiang Resources (Singapore) Pte Ltd battle it out in UK courts after Impala Shanghai brings a claim against Wanxiang to have a mandatory anti-suit injunction imposed.

Impala Shanghai is granted in principle the anti-suit injunction to prevent Wanxiang from pursuing proceedings against Impala in Shanghai.

May 2015
UK High Court makes a judgment in in the dispute between Citibank and Mercuria Energy over missing metal in Qingdao.

August 2015
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) slashes interest rates four times between November 2014 and July 2015, during which time it also lowers the bank deposit reserve ratio requirement, alongside other efforts to inject funds into the banking system to beef up the local economy.

Many Chinese metal companies are struggling to secure credit in the aftermath of the Qingdao scandal.

October 2015
London Metal Exchange offers a new electronic audit system for warehouse receipts called LMEShield that can in due course be used by warehouses that need not be LME-registered.

But access to China is crucial for LMEshield to gain traction.

November 2017
C Steinweg Group launches a new online platform to support the digitization of metal warehouse receipts in Asia aimed at reducing the risk of fraud associated with paper documents.

NICKEL WAREHOUSE FRAUD
Glencore-owned warehouse company Access World revealed at the end of January 2017 that forged warehouse receipts bearing its name were in circulation in South Korea and Malaysia.

While there were initial concerns that this could be a widespread fraud, later it became clear that it was relatively contained in Asia, affecting only nickel stocks held by Access World.

No nickel has physically been delivered against the forged receipts, which is a key difference from the Qingdao scandal.

But the banks that agreed to finance the fake copies were again the main financial victims, with known financial losses exceeding $300 million.

The Access World nickel receipt forgery relates to complex transactions including Chinese asset monetization, repurchase agreements (known as repos), receipt endorsement and financing deals.

It also has multiple people involved in numerous locations, with its trail leading from warehouse companies in Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore to trading companies in Hong Kong and California, an asset owner in China, and banks and brokers in London and Australia.

Here is Metal Bulletin’s review of the timeline of key events linked to this fraud:

June 2016
Straits (Singapore) Pte Ltd, the trade facilitation arm of Straits Financial Group, which itself is wholly owned by CWT Group, is issued with the original legitimate nickel warehouse receipts by Access World.

At some stage between 2016 and January 2017, copies of Straits’ nickel warehouse receipts are illegally made by unidentified parties and used to raise finance from banks.

Such fake copies, of which Metal Bulletin obtained samples in March 2017, showed Straits (Singapore) Pte Ltd in the first endorsement box dated early June 2016 and a Hong-Kong based entity in the second endorsement box three days later.

January 2017
A receipt brought in by London-based Marex Spectron failed authentication from Access World, revealing the forgery to the industry and prompting more receipt holders to come forward to check whether their documents were genuine or not.

Access World reveals that forged warehouse receipts bearing its name are in circulation in Asia, with issues reported in Korea and Malaysia.

The London Metal Exchange then calls on warehouse operators not to warrant metal where ownership could be disputed, including any possible links to forged warehouse receipts such as those reported by Access World.

February 2017
Straits Singapore confirms that it held the original Access World nickel warehouse receipts that were copied illegally.

March 2017
Australia’s ANZ and France’s Natixis are identified as being among the banks that agreed to provide cash against the forged warehouse receipts.

Amid the heightened risk awareness, it becomes even harder for metal traders to secure fresh finance.

Brokerage companies Marex Spectron and EDF Man are caught up in the scheme, sounding the alarm for base metal brokers active in brokering repos and other financing deals.

May 2017
Legal proceedings begin, with Natixis filing a lawsuit against Marex Spectron to recover $32 million in losses related to the fraud.

The case pertains to five spot purchase contracts – three of them done in a joint trade – between November 22, 2016 and January 10, 2017, covering a total of 16 receipts for nickel stored in Access World warehouses in Gwangyang, Korea, and Johor, Malaysia, all of which were found to be forgeries, Natixis says

June 2017
Marex Spectron files a defense, claiming no liability in the case filed by Natixis and dragging warehouse operator Access World into the lawsuit for having allegedly incorrectly authenticated forged documents as genuine.

ANZ initiates separate legal proceedings in the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore to try to gather information and find the culprits of the fraud.

The claims pertain to 31 transactions concluded with London-based brokerage EDF Man Capital Markets Ltd between May 5 and October 11, 2016, covering a total of 84 nickel receipts stored in Access World warehouses in Singapore, Johor and Busan, of which 83 are believed to be forgeries.

In turn, EDF Man Capital Markets received those 83 receipts from two Hong Kong companies. The sole genuine receipt had as first order party the US-based consultancy Genesis Resources Inc.

ANZ and EDF Man Capital Markets subsequently reach an out-of-court settlement outside the court. According to ANZ, any forgery would have taken place prior to the receipts being delivered to EDF Man.

July 2017
IHS Markit launches a digital tracking system for physical metals inventory, intended to update the way in which trading companies reconcile their inventories, which is currently a manual process.

October 2017
Access World says in court documents it is not liable for damages in the $32-million nickel fraud lawsuit between Marex Spectron and Natixis.

 

The post The biggest warehouse frauds of recent times appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

Expect choppy trading ahead of option declaration

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:27

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange are for the most part weaker again in the morning of Wednesday December 6, although copper and tin prices have run into some buying, with gains of 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.

Three-month copper prices are at $6,553 per tonne. With option declaration today and with there being a sizeable volume of $6,500 copper puts, it may be that prices continue to be choppy until option declaration is out of the way. The other base metals are down by an average of 0.6%.

Precious metals are generally firmer this morning – prices are up an average of 0.2%, with spot gold prices at $1,268.50 per oz. Prices were down across the board on Tuesday with gold prices off by 0.8% and the rest down between 1.1% for palladium and 1.4% on platinum. The low gold price on Tuesday was $1,260.95 per oz, the previous low from October was $1,260.70 per oz.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange today, all the base metals prices are lower by an average of 2.3% as they follow the weakness seen on the LME on Tuesday. Nickel prices are off the most with a 3.9% decline, followed by a 3.2% drop in zinc prices and a 3.1% fall in copper prices to 51,410 yuan ($7,771) per tonne. Aluminium is off by 2%, lead prices are down by 1.5% and tin prices are off by 0.3%.

Spot copper prices in Changjiang are down by 3.4% at 51,160-51,540 yuan per tonne and the LME vs Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio has firmed to 7.85, compared with 7.81 on Tuesday, suggesting LME prices have fallen slightly more than SHFE prices.

The weakness has spread to the steel market too with iron ore prices in China falling by 4% to 523 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. On the SHFE, steel rebar prices are off by 3.3%, with gold and silver prices down by 0.6% and 1.2% respectively.

In international markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are up by 0.3% at $62.81 per barrel. The yield on US 10-year treasuries are weaker at 2.34% and the German 10-year bund yield has fallen to 0.30%.

Equities in Asia this morning are under pressure with the Hang Seng down by 2.04%, the Nikkei is off by 1.97%, the Kospi is down by 1.42%, the CSI 300 is down by 0.6% and the ASX 200 is 0.21% lower. This follows weakness in western markets on Tuesday where in the United States the Dow Jones closed down by 0.45% at 24,180.64 and in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 closed down by 0.16% at 3,570.57.

The dollar index, at 93.32, is little changed as it consolidates around the 20 day moving average. The jury is still out as to whether the September to November strength in the dollar is a counter-trend move within this year’s downward trend, or whether it is the start of a longer-term uptrend. For now, the dollar remains vulnerable, but we are still on the side of expecting the dollar to rise given the likelihood of interest rate differentials. The euro at 1.1828 is slightly weaker, as are sterling at 1.3402 and the Australian dollar at 0.76578, while the yen is firmer at 112.14, suggesting the yen may be picking up some haven interest.

The yuan remains flat at 6.6140, while the other emerging currencies we follow are giving back some of their recent gains – which may be them showing some nervousness with the corrections going on in the metals and equities.

Today’s economic agenda shows German factory orders climbed 0.5%, after a 1.2% fall previously. Later there is data out on EU retail PMI, with US data including ADP non-farm employment change, revised non-farm productivity, revised unit labor costs, IBD/TIPP economic optimism and crude oil inventories.

The base metals are selling off. This suggests stale long liquidation has emerged after prices failed to extend the October rallies, and with the year-end approaching it is not surprising some profit-taking is being seen. Tin and lead, the two smallest markets in terms of liquidity/fund interest, are the ones holding up the best, so we do see this more as a technical/profit-taking correction rather than one that is warning of a meaningful economic slowdown. The market, however, seems concerned about slower growth in China and while that view is held then prices may well fall further, but we would view this as leading to a better buying opportunity.

The precious metals are also suffering from the broad sell-off in metals, but we note that gold prices have held above support and are getting some lift. With the yen also bucking the trend in the currencies, it may be there is some haven buying around as investors rotate out of those markets that are correcting, which could lead to some inflows into gold. That said, with the Federal Open Market Committee meeting a week away and with the market expecting an interest rate rise, the weakness we have been seeing in gold may well be the market anticipating the rate rise – this could be the opposite of a “buy the rumor, sell the fact” set-up.

The post Expect choppy trading ahead of option declaration appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

ASIA COPPER WEEK 2017: Seven things we learned in Shanghai

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:15

Close to 2,000 copper and other base metals participants descended on Shanghai for the annual Asia Copper Week from Tuesday November 28 to December 1, an event at which participants traditionally gather to discuss long-term contracts for both copper cathodes and concentrates as well as to exchange views on the market for the year ahead.

After several years of buyers having the upper hand in the copper market, the scales have gradually tipped in favor of sellers for 2018, especially in regard to copper concentrates.

Metal Bulletin’s editorial team from Shanghai, London and Singapore provides a wrap of the seven key things we learned at the event.

Cathode premiums: More optimistic signs for 2018
When Codelco offered cif Shanghai copper premiums at $75 per tonne for 2018 long-term contracts on November 21, market opinion was divided even though the number fell within expectations. A spot average below next year’s benchmark made buyers hesitate whether to go “long” or “short” for their purchasing strategies.

One week after the offer, more optimistic signs were seen in the market, especially for electrolytically refined (ER) cathodes, which had better liquidity in 2017 and traded at higher premiums compared with solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) cathode.

“Everyone is asking for ER packages for 2018; the price gap between ER and SX-EW cathode will widen further,” a China-based metals trader.

The typical price differential between ER and SX-EW cathode is around $5-10 per tonne, while a wider range of $10-15 per tonne had been prevalent for several months this year, according to Metal Bulletin historical data.

Metal Bulletin learned that offers for mainstream ER cathode brands from trading houses are in a range of $72-75 per tonne, with very few offers for top Chilean brands being heard. This was because market participants were unsure about how much tonnage they could secure from Codelco and Enami due to lower exports of cathodes expected from these producers in 2018, while their smelters undergo long periods of maintenance to comply with new environmental regulations.

The buyer’s concerns about securing the supply of top Chilean brands of copper cathode for next year were further supported by news that, during this year’s Asia Copper Week, Chile’s state-owned copper miner Codelco had achieved its most successful campaign in recent years to sell copper cathodes to Asian customers.

Codelco noted that around 50% of its production volume for next year had already been placed as of November 30. This compares with around 20% of cathode production sold during Asia Copper Week last year, Metal Bulletin understands.

The campaign “is going very well – customers are accepting our [premium] offers and booking volume right away,” Codelco’s senior commercial vice president Rodrigo Toro said on Thursday November 30. “[This is] not only in China but in Taiwan, where it has been easier [to sell] than in the past five years,” Toro said last week.

In the rest of Asia, Codelco increased its 2018 copper cathode premium for its customers in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea by 3% year on year to $70 per tonne, while the state-owned miner offered a premium of $75 per tonne to its customers in Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Codelco sells around 35% of its cathode production to China, 15% to the rest of Asia, 15% to Europe, 25% to the United States and 10% to South America, Metal Bulletin understands.

In addition, combined cargoes of SX-EW and ER cathode offered by traders were heard to be trading at around the high $60s to $70 per tonne.

Cathode prices: Correction widely expected, but bulls see $8,000 per tonne 
Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange have risen over 20% so far this year, benefiting from surprisingly firm Chinese demand, the recovery of global economies such as the United States and several European nations, as well as the expectation of increased red metal consumption from the electric vehicle sector.

A number of market participants expressed the opinion that the rise in prices was overdone and predicted less volatility in the year to come.

“The range between the highs and lows of 2018 will be narrower compared with this year,” a senior brokerage manager said.

A correction in copper prices is also widely expected by the market, especially during the traditionally low-consumption season in China during the winter months, Chinese New Year celebrations and until the second quarter.

Yet some in the market remain confident that red metal prices still have room to grow.

He Jinbi, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Maike Group, projects that the copper price will reach $7,300 per tonne in the next six months and even exceed $8,000 per tonne in 2018.

In November last year, Maike had predicted that copper prices would reach $6,300 per tonne in 2017. Prices surpassed the $6,300-per-tonne level in July of this year and are currently trading at around $6,800 per tonne.

Concentrates TC/RCs: United on supply-demand balance outlook, divided on processing fees
Whether at Metal Bulletin’s 13th Asia Copper Conference on November 28-30 or at one-to-one meetings between smelters and miners during the week, the demand-supply picture painted by both sides showed little difference, with the two sides agreeing on a balanced market for 2018.

Yet, when discussing the expectations for treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) the two groups took more polarizing stances.

Miners were said to be looking for TC/RCs in the $70s per tonne, while smelters had been pushing for a rollover of, or at least, a number close to this year’s level of $92.50 per tonne and 9.25 cents per lb.

Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, which is taking the lead for smelters in the 2018 TC/RCs negotiations, was one such smelter that was pushing for a benchmark around this year’s level amid potential smelting disruptions, deputy general manager James Wang told Metal Bulletin last week.

“We see a concentrates market next year quite similar to this year – no big surplus, no big deficit – so the [TC/RCs] benchmark should stay around the same level too,” Wang said in an interview on November 28.

On the mining side, Tongling predicts a net global production increase of between 750,000 and 800,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates in 2018, including 100,000 tonnes in China – 15,000 tonnes for Tongling – 30,000 tonnes in Australia and growth at Chile’s Escondida mine.

While on the smelting side, Tongling sees further expansion in China and Iran next year and globally a net increase in requirements of around 600,000-620,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates.

“So we are expecting a surplus of 100,000-200,000 tonnes, which is not a big number for the concentrates market,” Wang said.

Yet, Wang warned of the greater risk of disruptions on the smelting side compared with the mining side next year, especially for smelters in China, due to potential environmental issues and a lack of credit availability amid higher interest rates.

Meanwhile, Codelco views annual TC/RCs below $85/8.5 cents for 2018 as “acceptable” given the deficit seen in the second half of the year, the company’s commercial vice president said.

Support for TC/RCs to settle in the above range came from Standard Chartered, who predicted a range of $80-85/8-8.5 cents as a level at which is profitable for “almost all smelting capacity”.

No agreements were reached between smelters and miners during the one-week negotiations but the price differential is narrowing.

Negotiations are expected to be concluded by no earlier than late December.

Finally, some participants stated that the global copper concentrates market is unlikely to experience the same tightened conditions in 2018 that have afflicted the zinc and lead markets this year due the high levels of copper concentrates available.

Mining and smelting: Cost and environment 
After suffering a downturn for a number of years, both miners and smelters showed greater consideration for costs at this year’s gathering. More importantly, miners in both Chile and smelters in China are facing more pressure from stricter environmental regulations.

Faced with rising costs and environmental pressure, copper mines need higher prices around or above $7,500 per tonne to justify new investments in production and to keep up with growing demand, executives from key mining companies said at the conference.

Production costs are rising due to stricter environmental regulation, water shortages, higher energy bills and lower prices for byproducts such as molybdenum, Nelson Pizarro, chief executive officer of Chile’s state-owned miner Codelco, said.

Miners and smelters need to reach an agreement on profitable treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), which will benefit the entire copper industry for the long term, Wu Yuneng, president of Jiangxi Copper said.

Market participants with rich knowledge of the market believed that smelters cost could be in the range of a TC around $50-70 per tonne.

“[TC/RCs of around] $50 per tonne or 5 cents [per lb], or in some cases $60-80 per tonne or 6-8 cents per lb, are required to sustainably operate a new smelter and that’s why increasing copper smelting capacity is not easy,” JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp chief executive officer Shigeru Oi said at Metal Bulletin’s 13th Asia Copper Conference.

Wu mentioned that Chinese authorities have tightened environmental regulations in recent months, with companies that are unable to meet these requirements facing the possibility of being shut down. This is already happening in the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Hebei, as well as in the cities of Beijing and Tianjin.

In addition, higher emission costs for smelting slag will also be introduced in China from the beginning of next year, with the cost estimated at 25 yuan ($3.77) per tonne, Wu said.

In the meantime, James Wang from Tongling Nonferrous also told Metal Bulletin that copper smelters, alongside other industries in China such as aluminium producers, may have to reduce smelting capacity by 30% during the winter months if the government’s pollution index target is not met, which would not only reduce existing output but also delay smelting expansion plans.

While Chinese smelters are up against more environmental pressure, miners and smelters in Chile are also facing stricter environmental policies.

Smelting capacity at Codelco’s Chuquicamata will fall by 50,000 tonnes in 2018 as it closes down one of the furnaces to undergo an upgrade to comply with environmental policy.

Meanwhile, the One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR) project, launched by China, continues to be a hot topic at Asia Copper Week and will encourage commodities demand and economic growth in industries and countries along the route.

Scrap: China’s plan to adopt strict waste thresholds would have a massive impact 
China intends to adopt thresholds of 1% for impurities allowed in non-ferrous scrap imports to China and 0.5% for ferrous scrap imports, it announced to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on November 17.

If implemented, this could have massive and immediate effects, Michael Lion, president of Lion Consulting Asia Ltd, warned.

The changes would cause dislocation and disruption in copper flows because scrap supply generated by mature economies would have to find a new home while Chinese consumers look for alternative options, including importing more concentrates and refined copper, Lion explained.

Before this, China has made a series of policy changes this year under President Xi Jinping, including significant reductions in the categories and volumes of waste imports.

From January 2018, trading firms are no longer granted import quotas because all scrap business must occur between overseas sellers and domestic end-users directly. In addition, the import of category 7 copper scrap will be reduced in 2018 and banned from 2019.

Credit: continues to tighten
The lending environment for metals players kept has been being squeezed since 2014, after Qingdao fraud alerted banks about risks in metals business.

Though some players left the market because of lending issues and some companies diversified from metals to other areas, the leverage environment will continue to be tough for the market in 2018.

“Everything now looks good besides credit, if some company is reducing their long-term bookings for 2018, 90% of it’s because of credit,” said one Shanghai trader.

The Chinese economy, including the metals industry, is highly focused on deleveraging going into next year, which should see more capacity cuts among unprofitable smelters, senior delegates at the conference said.

“Deleveraging is a trend for next year – we are going to have a winding path but the direction is very clear,” Xiaobing Li, general manager of China Ordins Group Co Ltd, said on Wednesday November 29.

The reduction of company debts will continue to remove “unreasonable and inefficient capacities” in the ferrous market and, to a lesser extent, the non-ferrous sector, Li told delegates.

“Deleveraging is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing. Chinese companies are now putting more attention on value rather than price alone and the credit situation is also better. But deleveraging cannot be done overnight,” Yuan Huang, chief executive officer (CEO) of Greater China, said at the conference.

Financing copper remains difficult in China due to the depreciation of the yuan against the dollar and tighter regulations in the country, according to market experts.

Comparing the current environment against five years ago when copper financing was at its height, “in 2012-2013, the financing need was high and China’s copper inventories reached a peak of 900,000 tonnes – and today it’s not at that level,” Xiao Fu, head of commodity markets strategy at the Bank of China International Global Commodities said.

New products 
The market awaits the shipment of the first “green copper” of “fengshui copper” by Codelco in the next couple of months.

Japan continues to be in the forefront of innovative technology and is using secondary raw materials such as e-waste or e-scrap to produce copper, said a JX Nippon Mining and Metals executive.

Meanwhile, the market was abuzz with discussions of cif Shanghai copper premium (CUP) futures contracts launched by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on November 20, which will use Metal Bulletin’s cif Shanghai copper premium monthly average for settlement.

“I echo that the CME premiums contracts have been quite revolutionary and very successful,” LME ceo Matt Chamberlain said, adding “[the premiums] are over the LME benchmark [price, which] is fantastic from our perspective”.

“[It’s a] great example where exchange innovation can be helpful for everyone,” he said.

The post ASIA COPPER WEEK 2017: Seven things we learned in Shanghai appeared first on FastMarkets.

Categories: Metals Industry News

Glencore loses out to Trafigura; world’s biggest zinc deal sliced in 2019

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:03

The balance of power in the refined zinc market will shift in 2019 when Trafigura replaces Glencore as the largest offtake partner of Nyrstar.

Glencore will lose access to Nyrstar’s commodity grade zinc in the United States when its seven-year marketing deal with Nyrstar ends in 2018 although it will retain the rights to the smelter’s Australian material, sources with knowledge of the matter told Metal Bulletin.

“On 20 July 2017, Nyrstar and Glencore International AG entered into a new five-year contract for the sale of some of Nyrstar’s commodity grade zinc. This new contract commences on 1 January 2019,” Nyrstar said in a statement to Metal Bulletin.

Nyrstar declined to comment on how much zinc Glencore would secure for offtake and from where. Glencore and Trafigura both declined to comment.

Nyrstar’s European ingot offtake agreements from Budel and Balen are unchanged, Metal Bulletin understands.

Under the terms of the existing deal, Glencore has exclusive marketing rights to all commodity grade zinc produced by Nyrstar at its plants in Clarksville, Tennessee and Hobart, Tasmania. Nyrstar expects the plants to produce 114,000 tonnes and 245,000 tonnes of refined zinc respectively this year.

The current deal, which ends on the December 31, 2018, accounts for 3% of world refined production, making it the biggest of its kind for zinc.

In the consolidated world of industrial zinc production outside of China, the ability to source material in these large volumes can provide control of regional markets, price spreads on exchanges and premiums on physical metal.

Glencore’s loss of Nyrstar’s US offtake should benefit Trafigura, its trading rival and Nyrstar’s biggest shareholder, sources said.

“Trafigura will have a larger offtake with Nyrstar,” a source with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The shift in Trafigura’s favor illustrates how the Geneva-based trader is leveraging its stake in Nyrstar, the world’s leading refined zinc producer, for greater control of regional zinc markets in a similar fashion to how Glencore used its Nyrstar shareholding in the past.

In their negotiations, the world’s two largest base metal traders are vying for more tonnes of zinc, that has doubled in price over two years to 10-year highs over $3,200 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange.

Nyrstar is the world’s second-largest smelter of zinc metal at 1.071 million tonnes in 2015, behind Korea Zinc group at 1.09 million tonnes. The company does not differentiate between commodity grade and alloy refined production in its reports.

Glencore is the third-largest smelter at 1.02 million tonnes and is still one of the world’s two leading miners of zinc despite cutting half a million tonnes of mined production, a move that sparked the recent rally in LME zinc prices.

The International Lead & Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) forecasts global refined zinc production to total 13.53 million tonnes in 2017.

Loosening grip
The waning of Glencore’s influence over Nyrstar’s refined zinc output recalls the concessions that the former had to make regarding its involvement and ownership of Nyrstar when it merged with miner Xstrata in 2012-13.

Glencore has sold zinc from Hobart in Asia-Pacific markets since 2008 after signing an agreement to take 550,000 tonnes of Nyrstar’s commodity grade material worldwide.

The two parties renewed the deal in 2011 until 2018 albeit on reduced terms – Glencore, which was under the European Commission spotlight during its merger with Xstrata, retained the rights to market solely Nyrstar’s US and Australian offtake.

Glencore had the largest individual shareholding in Nyrstar at the time of the renewal of the agreement at 7.8%.

Nyrstar’s European refined production went for the most part to Noble and latterly 150,000 tonnes has been scooped up by Trafigura as part of a concentrates and financing package.

Trafigura gains
Trafigura, which now owns 24.64% of Nyrstar and has executives Jesús Fernandez and Christopher Cox on the smelter’s six-person board, will gain a foothold in the US market via Clarksville, which is the last major zinc ingot refiner in America.

“All of those deals are tied to a bigger concentrates deal – it’s not just a pure metal play…. The bigger money’s in the concentrates – there were middle grounds that were reached on all that included metal,” a second source said.

Glencore is the world’s largest miner and trader of zinc concentrates, with an offtake agreement with top 10 miner Trevali and recently spent almost a billion dollars in acquiring a majority shareholding in Peru’s Volcan.

“It’s important to keep the relationship with Glencore. If Nyrstar doesn’t keep the metal [offtake with Glencore], they don’t have the counter on concentrates and Glencore holds 30% of concentrates worldwide direct or indirect because of the trading side,” one source with knowledge of the deal said.

“They will keep this relationship and Trafi is comfortable with that through board members,” the source added. “It’s a good way to keep everything running and, in the US, most of the material from Tennessee will be sold by Trafi.”

Nyrstar and Glencore engage in swap deals of zinc and lead concentrates between Nyrstar’s mines in Canada and Glencore’s in Australia, multiple sources confirmed.

“The management doesn’t want to depend fully on Trafigura… they prefer to diversify,” a third source said.

Zinc treatment charges, paid to smelters for the costs of processing concentrates to metals, are at their lowest recorded by Metal Bulletin at $25-38 per tonne.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

PRICING NOTICE: Amendment of gold premium assessments

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 06:00

Metal Bulletin has today amended the frequency and the number of locations of its gold premiums assessments.

After a consultation period, Metal Bulletin has reduced the number of locations to three – Shanghai, Mumbai and Istanbul – from the nine that were previously assessed.

Assessments of gold premiums in Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Zurich are discontinued from today due to low liquidity in these locations.

From today, gold premiums will be assessed on a monthly basis, on the first Tuesday of every month.

All historical data relating to the gold premiums assessments prior to the amendment will remain available in the pricing section of the FastMarkets website.

To provide feedback on gold premiums assessments or if you would like to provide price information by becoming a data submitter to gold premiums assessments, please contact Ewa Manthey by email at pricing@metalbulletin.com. Please add the subject heading FAO: Ewa Manthey re: gold premium assessments.

To see all Metal Bulletin’s pricing methodology and specification documents, please go to https://www.metalbulletin.com/prices/pricing-methodology.html.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

SHFE base metals mostly lower on profit-taking; copper prices down as longs liquidate

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 03:33

Base metal prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly lower during Asian morning trading on Tuesday December 5 amid bouts of year-end profit-taking, with copper prices falling as longs liquidate.

The most-traded January copper contract on the SHFE stood at 53,220 yuan ($8,038) per tonne as of 10.59am Shanghai time, down by 330 yuan from Monday’s close, with around 80,000 lots changing hands so far.

Open interest of the contract was at around 143,000 positions as of 10:05 am Shanghai time, down from 144,672 positions at Monday’s close.

Tight funds among investors typically at the end of the year could see liquidation and thinner trading at this time of the year, market observers noted.

The euphoria around US tax cuts could see investor demand for commodities weaken over coming days, ANZ Research noted on Tuesday as well.

On Sunday, the US Senate passing its tax reform bill had helped boost the equities and commodities markets on Monday. The House-Senate conference committee will now work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate tax bills.

Aluminium, lead edge higher; rest lower

  • The SHFE February aluminium contract price rose by 65 yuan to 14,710 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE May nickel contract price dipped by 1,240 yuan to 91,130 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price increased by 40 yuan to 18,990 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January zinc contract price slipped 205 yuan to 25,350 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price decreased by 300 yuan to 141,400 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • The dollar index fell by 0.04% to 93.06 as of 11.08am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose by 0.15% to $62.52 per barrel as of 11.08am Shanghai time.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.03% to 3,307.87.
  • In Chinese data on Tuesday, the Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for November came in at 51.9, higher than expectations of 51.5 and up from 51.2 in October.
  • “New business expanded at a rapid pace while input costs and prices charged continued to rise… The Caixin PMI readings in November showed the economy has maintained stability and there was no imminent risk of a significant decline in its growth rate,” Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group said.
  • In data from Monday, UK construction PMI for November came in at 53.1, above forecast of 51.2. US factory orders fell 0.1% in October – compared to growth of 1.7% in the previous month – but beat the forecast of a 0.3% decline.
  • A string of services PMI data from across Europe and the United States, as well as ISM non-manufacturing PMI and PBD/TIPP economic optimism from the US.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

LME base metal prices mixed; nickel and tin prices move higher

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 10:50

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were on divergent paths this morning, Monday December 4, while the dollar rebounded.

“The dollar index avoided breaking below 92.50 on Friday – our line in the sand – with a low of 92.60. It has since rebounded to 93.31 on the back of the progress made on the tax reform legislation,” William Adams, Metal Bulletin senior analyst, said.

The three-month copper price dipped $14.50 per tonne despite positive sentiment from last week’s CESCO meeting buoying sentiment.

Lead prices dipped from Friday’s six-week high this morning and zinc followed its sister-metal lower.

“We viewed the recent weakness in most of the base metals as being consolidation [while] profit-taking took hold ahead of November’s month end,” Adams said.

“Overall we remain quietly bullish for most of the metals and expect range trading, so would not be surprised to see metals prices rebound further off recent lows,” he added.

Some metals prices were finding some support by recent Chinese purchasing managers’ index (PMI) readings, which although below expectations for the Caixin number, showed that China’s economy remained in expansion mode, some market watchers noted.

“While the official gauge showed another month in expansionary territory, the private sector version by Caixin dipped slightly. Even so, it remained above 50 and was enough to remove any doubt in investors’ minds about the outlook in the short term,” ANZ Research said on Monday.

The three-month nickel price is trading over $100 per tonne higher while LME stocks continue to decline, tin prices also began the day in positive territory.

“[Nickel was] last week’s underperformer reaching a low of $10,940 per tonne on Friday – a rebound continues this morning amidst a rally in ferrous, with iron ore hitting highs not seen since September 9,” Marex Spectron’s morning note said.

Aluminium prices remain little changed on the exchange this morning, “it is difficult for [the] aluminium price to move higher as smelters lack drive to cut production due to high smelting profits,” China’s Minmetals Jingyi Futures said.

Copper lower; but price supported

  • The three-month copper price dipped $14.50 to $6,818.50 per tonne.
  • Stocks declined 1,100 tonnes to 182,425 tonnes.
  • Copper’s price has underlying support from continued strike concerns at Southern Peru Copper Corp and Teck’s Quebrada Blanca copper mine.
  • A group of unionized workers at Teck’s Quebrada Blanca copper mine could go on strike if government-mediated talks fall through, Metal Bulletin reported.

Base metals prices

  • The three-month aluminium price was down $2 to $2,072.50 per tonne. Stocks declined 4,320 tonnes to 1,104,500 tonnes with 3,450 tonnes freshly cancelled.
  • Nickel’s three-month price was $110 higher at $11,400 per tonne. Inventories fell 1,572 tonnes to 378,528 tonnes, with 300 tonnes freshly cancelled.
  • The three-month zinc price dipped $19 to $3,230 per tonne. Stocks were 1,825 tonnes lower at 209,700 tonnes.
  • Lead’s three-month price was $6.50 lower at $2,538.50 per tonne. Inventories declined 100 tonnes to 144,900 tonnes.
  • The three-month tin price was $65 higher at $19,520 per tonne. Stocks were unchanged at 2,395 tonnes.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up 0.40% to 93.23.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down 0.72% to $63.15 per barrel.
  • China’s November Caixin PMI was at 50.8 versus an expected reading of 51.2. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below signals contraction.
  • On November 30, China’s official November PMI came in at 51.8, beating both the forecast of 51.4 and the previous figure of 51.6.
  • On Sunday, the US Senate passed its tax reform bill. “In the next step, a House-Senate conference committee will work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate tax bills. With both bills calling for a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 20%, US tax reform progress is expected to help sustain growth in corporate capital investments and [merger and acquisition] activities,” Credit Suisse said.
  • Data due later today includes US factory orders, UK construction PMI, and European Sentix investor confidence and producer price index.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

Mixed start to the week after Friday’s rebounds

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:35

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange are split into two camps this morning, Monday December 4. Gains are being seen in nickel (1.1%), tin (0.5%) and copper, which is up by 0.6% at $6,857 per tonne, while the rest are in negative territory: zinc (-0.8%), aluminium (-0.4%) and lead (-0.2%).

Volume has been average with 7,406 lots traded as of 06.47 am London time.

This follows a generally bullish performance on Friday – the exception was tin where prices dropped 1%, while the rest were significantly stronger with average gains of 1.8%.

Gold, silver and platinum prices are down by an average of 0.4% this morning, with gold prices at $1,274.40 per oz, while palladium prices buck the trend with a 0.3% gain and it appears that prices are now getting comfortable above the $1,000-per-oz level. On Friday, palladium prices climbed by 0.9%, gold prices were up by 0.4%, while silver and platinum prices were off by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange today, aluminium prices are down by 0.3%, while the rest are firmer with average gains of 1.6%. Lead is the outperformer with a gain of 2.6%, while copper prices are up by 1.2% at 53,510 yuan ($8,085) per tonne. Spot copper prices in Changjiang are up by 1.2% at 53,340-53,470 yuan per tonne and the LME/Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio is at 7.80, compared with 7.81 on Friday.

Last week, noting the strength in iron ore and steel rebar prices in China, we thought the easier tone in base metals would be short-lived and that seems to have turned out to be the case and with the steel complex prices up further, this bodes well for metals prices in general. Iron ore prices in China today are up by a hefty 5.1% at 549.50 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. On the SHFE, steel rebar prices are up by 2.3%, while gold and silver prices are off by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively.

In international markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are down by 0.32% at $63.41 per barrel. The yield on US ten-year treasuries are slightly weaker at 2.40% and the German ten-year bund yield has also eased to 0.33%.

Equities in Asia this morning are mixed: the Nikkei is down by 0.49%, the ASX 200 is weaker by 0.07%, while the Kospi is up by 1.06%, the Hang Seng is stronger by 0.59% and the CSI is up by 0.43%. This follows weakness in western markets on Friday where in the United States the Dow Jones closed down by 0.17% at 24,231.59 and in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 closed down by 0.56% at 3,527.55. Premarket European and US markets are firmer following the US Senate’s passing of the tax reform legislation.

The dollar index avoided breaking below 92.50 on Friday – our line in the sand – with a low of 92.60. It has since rebounded to 93.31 on the back of the progress made on the tax reform legislation. With the dollar stronger, the euro at 1.1845 has turned lower, as have sterling at 1.3426 and the yen at 113.00, while the Australian dollar at 0.7587 is little changed.

The yuan at 6.6197 is also weaker, while the other emerging currencies we follow are mixed, with the peso, rupiah and rand weaker, while rupee and ringgit are firmer, especially the latter.

Today’s economic agenda shows Japan’s consumer confidence edged higher to 44.9, from 44.50, data out later includes Spanish unemployment change, EU Sentix investor confidence, UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI), EU producer price index (PPI) and US factory orders. There is also a Eurogroup meeting.

We viewed the recent weakness in most of the base metals as being consolidation as profit-taking took hold ahead of November’s month end, the exception has been nickel, which we are less bullish on. Friday saw some price rebounds and so far this morning is looking mixed. However, strong equity markets may well boost investor confidence, especially as generally good PMI data out last week looked constructive. Overall we remain quietly bullish for most of the metals and expect range trading, so would not be surprised to see metals prices rebound further off recent lows.

Gold, silver and platinum prices are looking week – the strong equity markets and minimal geopolitical concerns over North Korea, seem to be weighing on the precious metals prices, although palladium continues to buck the trend on the back of strong fundamentals.

Metal Bulletin publishes live futures reports throughout the day, covering major metals exchanges news and prices.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

PEOPLE MOVES: Rio Tinto appoints Simon Thompson as chairman

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 02:40

Rio Tinto has appointed Simon Thompson as chairman, the company announced on Monday December 4.

Thompson, who joined the Rio Tinto board as a non-executive director in 2014, will become chairman on March 5, 2018. He succeeds Jan du Plessis, who will step down as chairman and from the Rio Tinto board on the same date after serving almost nine years as chairman.

Thompson has over 20 years’ experience working across five continents in the mining and metals industry. From 1995 to 2007, he worked for the Anglo American group, holding a number of senior positions, including executive director of Anglo American plc, chief executive of the base metals division, chairman of the exploration division, and chairman of tarmac.

His experience as a non-executive director includes serving on the boards of AngloGold Ashanti, Rusal and Newmont Mining Corp.

“The board is delighted to have appointed Simon to chair Rio Tinto. He brings to the role a deep understanding of the mining industry, as well as a strong track record as a non-executive,” Rio Tinto senior independent director Ann Godbehere said.

Upon assuming the role of chairman, Thompson will step down as chairman of the Rio Tinto remuneration committee and will also cease to be a member of the audit committee.

Sam Laidlaw, who previously chaired the remuneration committee at HSBC Holdings plc, will succeed Thompson as chair of the Rio Tinto remuneration committee effective March 5, 2018.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

SHFE copper prices pressured lower by disappointing China data

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 04:56

Copper prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange extended their weekly losses during Asian morning trading on Friday December 1, with disappointing Chinese macroeconomic data fueling concerns about slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The most-traded January copper contract on the SHFE stood at 52,730 yuan ($7,975) per tonne as of 10.35am Shanghai time, down by 110 yuan from the previous session’s close.

In data today, China’s November Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) disappointed with a print of 50.8 versus an expected reading of 51.2. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that signals contraction.

The weaker-than-expected reading has fueled concerns regarding China’s economic outlook and pressured copper prices this morning, despite the country’s manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI readings beating expectations on Thursday.

In supply-side news, Chile’s copper production grew 13.3% in October from a year earlier, helped by increased ore processing rates.

This uptick in production is offsetting any support seen from reports of ongoing and potential industrial action in Latin America.

An indefinite strike over pay and benefits at Southern Peru Copper Corp entered its tenth day on November 30 with no resolution in sight.

Meanwhile, there was news of looming industrial action in Chile this week.

A trade union that represents 24% of Teck’s Quebrada Blanca workforce have rejected the company’s contract offer and could go on strike if no agreement is reached after expected government-mediated talks take place.

Copper stocks on the London Metal Exchange declined a net 3,200 tonnes to 188,525 tonnes on Thursday. LME red metal stocks have now fallen 7.7% since Monday.

Aluminium prices subdued by disappointing winter curbs

  • The SHFE January aluminium contract price dipped 10 yuan to 14,555 yuan per tonne.
  • This follows a sudden rebound on Thursday afternoon when word spread in the market that a top official in China’s Shandong province had ordered Shandong Weiqiao to cut 30% of its legal aluminium capacity and suspend all illegal aluminium capacity. However, the boost was short-lived and aluminium prices have traded sideways since this morning’s open.
  • In general, light metal prices continue to be subdued by the disappointing execution of planned winter production cuts in China and falling alumina prices.
  • “Aluminium was also lower, as reports suggested the cuts to production have been less than expected. It is believed that China Hongqiao has been exempt from winter curbs, although the company has yet to confirm this,” ANZ Research said.
  • Due to the sluggish demand from local smelters, the Chinese alumina price fell to 3,350-3,450 yuan per tonne on Thursday, down 2.2% from previously, according to Metal Bulletin’s latest assessment.

Zinc, lead prices buoyed; others lower

  • The SHFE May nickel contract price dropped 770 yuan to 90,300 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price rose 230 yuan to 18,605 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January zinc contract price gained 60 yuan to 25,020 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price fell 750 yuan to 140,840 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • The dollar index was down by 0.08% at 92.96 as of 10.36am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose by 0.46% to $62.93 per barrel while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price gained by 0.38% to $57.57.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.21% to 3,310.06.
  • In data on Thursday, releases from Europe broadly disappointed: the Eurozone’s November consumer price index (CPI) flash came in at 1.5% versus an expected 1.6%, while the core reading missed at 0.9% – 1.0% had been called for. However, the EU’s unemployment rate for October beat expectations with a reading of 8.8%, against both a previous and expected reading of 8.9%.
  • US data on Thursday was broadly positive with monthly personal spending and income exceeding expectations with prints of 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The Chicago PMI surprised to the upside with a reading of 63.9, versus an expected print of 62.2. The core PCE price index was in line with expectations at 0.2%.
  • Data out already today showed China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI surprising to the downside with a print of 50.8 versus an expected 51.2.
  • Later we have a host of manufacturing PMI data out across Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other US data expected later today includes monthly construction spending, ISM manufacturing prices and total vehicle sales.
  • In addition, US Federal Open Market Committee members Robert Kaplan and Patrick Harker are speaking.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

Metals under pressure despite good Chinese PMI data

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:07

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange are split this morning, Thursday November 30, with copper, aluminium and lead prices up between 0.2% and 0.4%, with copper at $6,760 per tonne, while the rest are weaker with nickel, zinc and tin prices down by 1%, 0.5% and 0.4% respectively.

Volume has been strong with 12,675 lots traded as of 06.46am London time.

This follows a mixed performance on Wednesday that saw aluminium prices drop by 2.2%, copper prices weaken by 0.8% and zinc prices slip by 0.1%, while nickel prices were up by 0.4%, lead prices strengthened by 0.3% and tin prices were little changed.

Gold and silver prices are little changed this morning at $1,283.70 per oz and $16.55 per oz respectively, although they fell 0.8% and 1.8% on Wednesday, which was surprising given North Korea’s missile test. The platinum group metals are up either side of 0.5% this morning, but they too were weaker on Wednesday, falling by an average of 0.8%.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange today, the base metals are generally weaker, down by an average of 0.7%. Zinc and lead prices are little changed, while the rest are weaker, ranged from a 1.9% fall in aluminium to a 0.5% drop in nickel. Copper prices are off by 1% at 52,670 yuan ($7,993) per tonne. Spot copper prices in Changjiang are down by 0.9% at 52,440-52,740 yuan per tonne and the LME/Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio is firmer at 7.79, compared with 7.78 on Wednesday.

In other metals in China, iron ore prices are up by 3.3% to 522 yuan per tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange. On the SHFE, steel rebar prices are also up by 3.3%, gold prices are down by 0.7% and silver prices are off by 2.1%. Given the strength in iron ore and steel rebar, combined with the stronger purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data, we are surprised the base metals are under so much pressure.

Equities in Asia this morning are generally weaker, the exception is the Nikkei that is up by 0.57%, while the rest are lower: Kospi (-1.45%), the Hang Seng (-1.51%), the CSI 300 (-1.34%) and the ASX 200 (-0.69%). Some of the weakness is on the back of a sell-off in some US technology companies that saw the Nasdaq fall 1.27%, while the Kospi is down following an interest rate rise. While the Nasdaq may have been under pressure on Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed up by 0.44% at 23,940.68. Meanwhile in Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up by 0.18% at 3,589.91.

The dollar index at 93.17 is getting some lift as it looks as though some progress is being made on US tax reform, which is probably also why the Dow managed to ignore the weakness in the Nasdaq. The euro at 1.1870 is consolidating, the yen at 112.20, is weaker, which is probably why the Nikkei is also bucking the trend in Asian equities this morning, and the Australian dollar at 0.7583 is little changed. The sterling is strong at 1.3462 on the back of Tuesday’s breakthrough offer on the Brexit bill.

The yuan at 6.6100 is slightly weaker but it seems to be consolidating, while the other emerging currencies we follow are consolidating having been strengthening of late.

Today’s economic agenda is extremely busy – China’s manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI beat expectations, while Japan’s housing starts fell more than expected. Data out later includes: German retail sales, German, Italian and European Union unemployment data, French, Italian and EU consumer price index (CPI), US initial jobless claims, personal income, spending, PCE prices and Chicago PMI. In addition, US Federal Open Market Committee members Randal Quarles and Robert Kaplan are speaking.

Base metals prices are on a back footing, most metals are holding above support levels, suggesting consolidation, but aluminium and nickel prices have broken below support levels so are showing more weakness. We wait to see if strength in China’s steel sector, combined with better than expected Chinese PMI data is enough to instil confidence. For now we would let theses pullback run their course, but would be on the lookout for bargain hunting.

Gold prices pulled back from the top of their range on Wednesday, the fact they did despite the pick-up in geopolitical tension is surprising. Platinum and palladium prices consolidated in line with gold’s performance, but selling in silver pushed prices below support, making the metal look particularly weak. Given the nervousness in tech stocks, the pick-up in geopolitical tension and wild gyrations in bitcoin, we would not be surprised to see some haven buying return to gold.

Metal Bulletin publishes live futures reports throughout the day, covering major metals exchanges news and prices.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

SHFE base metals broadly lower despite positive Chinese PMI

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 05:01

The copper price on the Shanghai Futures Exchange continued to decline during Asian morning trading hours on Thursday November 30, despite a positive reading in China’s Purchasing Manufacturers’ Index (PMI).

The most-traded January copper contract on the SHFE stood at 52,630 yuan ($7,967) per tonne as of 10.43am Shanghai time, down by 520 yuan from the previous session’s close.

Investors remained cautious towards the futures market, mainly due to weak Chinese copper demand. As a result, profit-taking has become the dominant theme in the market so far this week.

This is despite China’s November PMI coming in this morning at 51.8, beating both the forecast of 51.4 and the previous figure of 51.6, as well as a positive US gross domestic product (GDP) reading for the third quarter.

“Although US Q3 GDP beat the forecast and rose 3.3% overnight, it did not help prevent the copper price from falling further.Weak demand for copper in China has placed too much downward pressure [on prices],” China’s Citic Futures Research said.

“Base metals prices are for the most part on a back footing while investors cut long positions because prices have become hung up in high ground,” Metal Bulletin senior analyst Will Adams said.

In addition, Commerzbank pointed to concerns about a stronger dollar and the credit environment in China and how it might affect growth.

The dollar index showed some strength overnight and climbed to as high as 93.44 before falling back to 93.11 as of 10.43am Shanghai time today.

“[US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen] delivered a positive assessment on the economic outlook [during her speech yesterday], noting that wage gains and inflation remain tame. But she forecast strengthening ahead and signalled that further gradual rises in the Fed funds rate should be expected,” an analyst from National Australia Bank noted.

Such expressions from Yellen, though not new to the public, have further strengthened the outlook for a stronger dollar.

Meanwhile, market participants continue to see potential support for the copper price from the supply side.

London Metal Exchange copper stocks fell a further 4,950 tonnes on Thursday, and total stocks dropped below 200,000 tonnes for the first time since March.

“We see the pullbacks as consolidation and remain bullish overall on the basis of the fundamentals,” Will Adams noted.

All other base metals follow suit

  • The SHFE May nickel contract price dropped 240 yuan to 92,470 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price dipped 20 yuan to 18,240 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January zinc contract price fell 65 yuan to 24,745 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January aluminium contract price edged down 250 yuan to 14,365 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price fell 510 yuan to 141,910 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was at 93.11 on Thursday, down 0.18% from yesterday’s close as of 10.43am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose 0.03% to $62.63 per barrel while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was flat at $57.34.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.27% to 3,328.88.
  • In Chinese data, China’s November manufacturing PMI came at 51.8, beating both the forecast of 51.4 and the previous figure of 51.6. Non-manufacturing PMI was also higher in November, at 54.8.
  • US data was positive overnight. Third-quarter GDP was revised upward to 3.3% from 3.0%, and home sales were also better, coming in at -0.6% year on year compared with a previous reading of -3.9%.
  • In EU data, economic confidence rose as expected to 114.6, German consumer prices rose 0.3% month on month as forecast and was up 1.8% year-on-year, beating both the previous reading and the forecast.
  • Numbers out later today include the EU unemployment rate and US personal income and spending.
  • In addition, US Federal Open Market Committee members Robert Kaplan and Randal Quarles will give speeches today.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

Codelco plans to ship first cargo of ‘feng shui copper’ in next few months

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 04:05

Codelco is making efforts to de-commoditize copper and is running a pilot sustainability project to certify “green copper” or what the company refers to as “feng shui copper,” chairman Oscar Landerretche told delegates at Metal Bulletin’s 13th Asia Copper Conference on Thursday November 30.

“We will carry out the first de-commoditized sale of [feng shui] copper in the next couple of months,” he said.

The Chilean state-owned miner has been working with a trader, a wire producer and a final end producer on the pilot program to create a certifiable copper product where in each cathode has been certified to meet eight parameters.

These include carbon content, territorial impact, community impact, human rights, water content, equal opportunities, health and safety and transparency and ethics.

This project will allow Codelco to take the lead in the green initiative and strive for sustainable mining and manufacturing, Landerretche said.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

SHFE copper prices decline on stronger dollar; nickel buoyed

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:36

Copper prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were weaker during Asian morning trading hours on Wednesday November 29, with the combination of a stronger dollar and weak macroeconomic data keeping investor appetite subdued.

The most-traded January copper contract on the SHFE stood at 53,280 yuan ($8,069) per tonne as of 10.34am Shanghai time, down by 130 yuan from the previous session’s close.

The dollar index was up by 0.03% at 93.24 as of 10.30 Shanghai time. The index had reached a high of 93.34 on Tuesday, its highest since November 23.

“The market continued the downward slide from Monday on weakening Chinese macro data, slowing home sales figures noted yesterday, alongside a marginally stronger dollar, which prompted profit-taking and subsequently long liquidation in a quiet market,” Sucden Financial Research said late on Tuesday.

Compounding the weakness in the copper prices was the news that Southern Peru Copper Corp’s output had been unaffected by recent industrial action.

“Southern Copper said [Wednesday] that output was unaffected as striking workers continue to block a key road into the company’s main smelter,” ANZ Research said on Wednesday.

“This came amid reports that Peru is close to seeing the benefits of recent investment. The Deputy Mines Minister said output should rise strongly in 2018 after a 40% increase in investment in recent months bears fruit,” the bank added.

Furthermore, China’s sluggish copper consumption is also weighing on red metal prices.

“The continuous weak performance of copper is resultant from increased expectations that copper demand [in China] will weaken,” China’s Citic Futures Research said on Wednesday.

Zinc buoyed by stock drops 

  • The most-traded January zinc contract price on the SHFE inched up by 75 yuan to 24,945 yuan per tonne.
  • London Metal Exchange zinc stocks fell a net 1,000 tonnes to 217,625 tonnes on Tuesday, following a 1,075-tonne decrease on Monday.
  • “Zinc prices are being supported by the low inventories in both the Chinese and international markets, as well as supply constraints on zinc concentrates,” Citic Futures Research said.
  • “Meanwhile, zinc consumption has grown weaker due to environmental scrutiny in zinc’s downstream sectors,” it added.

Others lower, bar nickel 

  • The SHFE May nickel contract price rose by 300 yuan to 92,410 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price dipped by 50 yuan to 18,330 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January aluminium contract price dropped by 80 yuan to 14,685 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price fell by 110 yuan to 142,850 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • The dollar index was up by 0.03% at 93.24 as of 10.30 Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price dropped by 0.13% to $63.23 per barrel while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was flat at $57.68.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.7% to 3,310.28.
  • US data overnight was mixed: consumer confidence beat expectations with a rise to 129.5 in November, hitting a 17-year high; the October advance trade deficit moved up to $68.3 billion from $64.1 billion previously; wholesale inventories fell by 0.4% in October, compared with a 0.1% rise in September.
  • Today’s economic calendar is quite busy with US data that includes preliminary third-quarter gross domestic product, pending home sales and crude oil inventories.
  • In addition, there will be Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meetings held throughout the day.
  • There are also a number central bank officials speaking today including US Federal Open Market Committee member William Dudley, Bank of England (BOE) governor Mark Carney, BOE deputy governor David Ramsden and US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

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Categories: Metals Industry News

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